Words that Heal

Perhaps you’ve had days like me, where words someone says or doesn’t say can dramatically impact your thoughts, feelings and overall demeanor. They can repeat and circle endlessly within the mind, never ceasing, not if for a brief moment. Sometimes, they even stretch beyond what they initially were, eating away at us, suffocating our willingness to take chances, limiting our confidence and ultimately, can silence us. With that being said, there is also the ability for someone’s words to have a dramatically opposite effect – one that lifts us, one that inspires us, or simply makes us feel noticed, acknowledged and recognized. These words can come in the simplest of ways – an acknowledgement of our style, a talent, a facial feature, anything, really. Though, no matter how “small,” these words or acknowledgements may seem on the surface, what they can do for us inward, is a whole other impact, one that just might change someone’s life.

To better explain what I mean by this, I was simply scrolling through Facebook this afternoon, when I stumbled across a quote my friend shared. It was a quote/series of thoughts that deeply resonated with me, so profoundly so that it inspired this very blog post, prompting me to share it with those of you who might be reading. This is what I mean:

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After I read this, I contemplated all it meant to me for awhile. It led me back to my first job out of college, where I worked at a nonprofit organization facilitating various programs and doing a bit of grant writing. During my time there, I was fortunate enough to meet countless amounts of people who are filled with greatness, intelligence and talent. One woman in particular, a member of the community coalition affiliated with the organization I worked for, stood out to me, but not only to me, my fellow coworkers, as well. We agreed she embodied strength and an undeniable aura of kindness and reassurance. From merely chatting with her for moments, I could sense the compassion and depth within her. When she spoke to others, she connected in such a way that had the ability to make nearly anyone she spoke to feel heard and recognized. Though I didn’t know her well, certain words and conversations she and I shared still cross my mind, today. Every Thanksgiving, I think of when she told me of the tradition she and her friend share: visiting the hotel directly located within the path of Philadephia’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade and sharing tea together, with a view facing the parade. From my understanding, they lived a distance from each other, but would always visit in that hotel restaurant each Thanksgiving, delighting in each others’ company and sharing in the Thanksgiving Day parade festivities.

Meeting her brought a newfound confidence to me, in talking and complimenting others. Sure, I’d issued compliments to others such as great shoes or hairstyle, or outfit, but at that time, it was hard for me to recall ever really complimenting someone other than my family, about their personality and ability to connect with others. With this particular woman, it was different. In one of our few conversations, I wished her well, as she made her way out of the office to continue to her day, but before she did, I complimented her on her optimism and compassion, her willingness to help and to hear others, to give them a voice,  to allow them to share and to truly recognize all they were saying. Having the ability to make someone not only feel listened to, but HEARD, is a rare quality in itself and I felt it was necessary for me to take the chance to compliment her on this.

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So today, I urge you, if you haven’t already, to issue someone a compliment, no matter how small it may seem to you, to them, it could brighten their day – it could very well be the only positive thing they hear today, or almost any day. Even when we don’t feel our best, we can always do something to make others feel good, because I know for myself, when feeling down, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

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Thoughts we can Feel

Good Monday morning, to you! If it happens to be stormy, windy and rainy by you, I hope you are able to have a pleasant day in spite of it. Whether your day is going well, or perhaps you could use a bit of motivation and encouraging words, I’m here today to offer some of quotes I’ve discovered recently that are quickly becoming my favorites. So without further adieu, here are some quotes of encouragement and strength today:

“The strongest people aren’t always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.”

“If you keep looking back at your yesterday’s, you are not living in the gift that the present is.”

“There comes a day when turning the page is the best decision for you because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”

“Never let your fear decide your future.”

“Note to self: I am allowed to cry. I am allowed to scream, but I am not allowed to give up. It will all get down somehow. Just breathe.”

“Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.”

“Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday. Every day is a fresh start. Each day is a new beginning. Every morning we wake up is the first day of our new life.”

“You are part of a puzzle in someone’s life. You may never know where you fit, but someone’s life may never be complete without you in it.”

“Trust that every ending is followed by a beginning.”

“Use your eyes to see the needs and use your talents to meet them.”

“Don’t let your fear of the past affect the outlook of your future. Live for what tomorrow has to bring, not what yesterday has taken away.”

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Words Sitting Beside Us

This post is bound to be more or less all over the place, so I apologize for the mess of words it may very well result in. Lately, I’ve been contemplating countless hours about the words some us don’t, won’t or feel we cannot say. They never really go away, even if they are no longer at the forefront of our minds. Or, they may appear or emerge in other ways, like a nervous tic, foot tapping, biting our lips or cheeks, and beyond. Sometimes, we ruminate about them, mulling over what could or will happen if these words and feelings are verbalized or written to someone or something. Therefore, many of us repress them, stuffing them deep inside of us, tucked away into an area that feels raw and unaddressed. It never leaves though; it sits and sits, and sometimes, when it becomes too much to bear, the words spill out in ways we never intended, or not in the way we hoped.

For me, the words I don’t say sit beside me each day. They follow me from place to place, like a piece of lint of dust that simply won’t disappear until it is properly addressed. Other times, when I HAVE spoken up, a sense of relief washes over me and I am amazed by how fulfilling and cleansing it was to finally release the emotions and words building inside of me. In some instances, I’ve been shocked to learn others have harbored nearly identical sentiments to me, wondering why I waited so long to speak the words I felt couldn’t. So many times, unnecessarily, I’ve walked around berating myself for feeling as I do, thinking as I do and for my inability to speak the truth, words that very well could set me free from emotional duress. The words I often choose to not speak sometimes become my shadow; I can always see or feel it lingering in the background and even when I focus all my efforts in ignoring it, it never ceases to escape.

Instead of focusing on how my thoughts and words will be received, my goal for the impending year is to focus on speaking the truth in ways that are respectful, truthful, and accountable. I’ve found from past experiences that when we focus so much on how our feelings and words will be received by others, the words we do end up sharing are the furthest from what we intended and thereby, we are left feeling unheard and the pain/unspoken truths still sit beside us. Thoughts and sentiments can eat away at us, bit by bit until we reduced to silence or whispers. It pains me each day I see others doing to this to themselves, because I know, firsthand, how deeply painful it is. Ignoring or repressing it doesn’t make it disappear, or even numb it, despite what we might think. Those little jabs at our loved ones, self-defeating judgments of ourselves when we look in the mirror  and beyond – all of them, I truly believe, are the those unspoken thoughts and feelings rearing their vicious heads.

So, if I can say one thing as we make our way into the holidays and the New Year, it is to speak your truth. Speak it loud and speak it clear, because others can only hear you if you take the risk and remember, no matter how hard we may try, others opinions of us cannot be controlled by us. We have no power over someone’s thoughts of us, we only have power over how we present ourselves, the words we say and the choices we make. My hope is that you’ll make the choice to make your voice heard, speak the truth and speak it clear.

All the Treats, No Tricks

Tomorrow is a week exactly until Halloween. For me, it’s always been a hit or miss type of holiday. More times than I can probably recall, I’ve missed out on the holiday, or at least, ended up unable to fully celebrate or engage in any holiday-related festivities. The first instance I can remember happened in October 1998, at the age of 10. For about a week or at least several days prior to the actual occurrence, I’d been experiencing strange stomach discomfort. At first, my mom and I both assumed it must have been some type of intestinal gas, or something benign of that nature. Though, on or around the 28th of October, the discomfort increased to the point where I inherently knew it wasn’t simply a minor event.

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It just so happened that particular evening, my parents were at a meeting at school, so they were unable to be easily reached. In the time before cell phones, without a pay phone, or landline phone, it was nearly impossible to reach them, until my mom called to check in on their way into the grocery store, stopping at a pay phone. Hearing the grave and frantic nature of my and my sister’s voices, our parents rushed home and quickly placed me inside the car and transported me to the ER. Within several hours, in the wee hours of the morning, my appendix was removed, as doctors feared it could soon rupture, given my blood work results and examination. It took me a bit longer than some to recover from the surgery and Halloween soon arrived, with me bed ridden. Early Halloween morning, a nurse entered my room with two stacks of cards, festively decorated. Some, she explained, were from a local elementary school who designed cards for pediatric hospital patients. Therefore, I was one of the recipients. The cards were filled with silly and fun sayings and mantras, colorfully decorated to brighten my spirits, which it did. The other stack of cards came from my 5th grade class at school. Needless to say, though I wasn’t trick-or-treating that year, I certainly felt loved and “treated.”

Several Halloweens following that year, I suffered from minor sniffles and colds, causing me to either skip out on trick-or-treating entirely, or at least shorten my Halloween adventures. Then, as a 20-year-old, I again found myself hospitalized on Halloween. Though at 20, I was certainly way past a typical trick-or-treating age, I still felt disappointed to again be unable to join in the festivities as so many of my fellow 20-year-old college students did. Without disclosing the nature of my hospitalization, it was a holiday within the unit of the hospital that again filled me with love and appreciation. My fellow hospital patients; some children, some teens, and some adults, both male and female, wrote cards to one another and distributed them; trick-or-treating of a different kind, again filled with all treats, as opposed to tricks. The cards were filled with what we liked or admired about one another.

At this point, you may be wondering what prompted this particular post, and to that inquiry, I respond with the outpouring of posts and articles I’ve seen on candy-free Halloweens, or displaying a teal pumpkin outside one’s home, indicating they are “allergy-free.” It’s a concept I’ve come to embrace and one that is a reminder of the candy-free Halloweens filled with inspiring cards and words, as opposed to sweet, edible treats. Though I’m not opposed to candy (I’m a true fan of many!), the candy-free concept is one I feel is a positive one; one where children and adults can both engage in and celebrate, no matter their financial state, because kind words are always free.

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So, this Halloween, if you’re feeling pressured to perfect your Halloween candy bowls or party preparations, just remember, sometimes a caring word, thought, card, or acknowledgment can be so much sweeter than the most decadent of candies and/or foods.

Happy Halloween!

Words as a Remedy

Good morning! I hope the week has treated well and that your weekend will soon be off to a fun and exciting start! This past week and a half (nearly two weeks) has consisted of me battling some type of upper respiratory illness (not quite convinced it is a sinus infection or not, but I’m not entirely sure), so I’ve been trying my best to keep my spirits up. Lots of hot coffee, flavored waters, and fresh produce to try and keep me hydrated and my energy up. I’ve been attempting to push through as best as I can, but it can be challenging at times to push through the day when the comfort of my bed and a good book looks so very inviting.

Quote

Needless to say, I spent much of the early parts of the day yesterday craving some quotable inspiration. My cravings were answered when I discovered a Winston Churchill quote, which I immediately tweeted, hoping that others might benefit from it as much as I proved to. Therefore, I decided to share with you some inspirational quotes I recently stumbled across; words which can be helpful to us really at anytime, but especially during those moments or days that leave you feeling perplexed and overwhelmed:

Believe Quote

Inspirational Quote Round-Up:

  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” (via Winston Churchill)
  • As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”
  • “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”
  • “The pages of yesterday cannot be revised, but the pages of tomorrow are blank and you hold the pen. Make it an inspiring story.”
  • “Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.”
  • “Never let fear decide your future.”
  • “I hope you live a life you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.

Know Thyself: What I know & Where I’m Going

Good morning, friends! It’s a brisk and breezy Wednesday, here in Pennsylvania, so I hope you’re keeping warm, if you’re local, or if you’re somewhere else where it is just as chilly! This morning during my daily perusing of Facebook, I happened to spot yet another quote that piqued my interest and sparked an internal dialogue/thoughts: “I didn’t always know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the kind of woman I wanted to be.” This couldn’t be more fitting for me, as I find myself consistently searching for the ideal “career” or position for me. I graduated in 2010 from college with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and since then, while I’ve worked a couple jobs I started to consider a “career,” they were short-lived and I found myself again searching for that career opportunity that would fulfill my greatest desires and hopes, leaving me fulfilled and feeling as though I made a difference/impact at the end of the day. Still, I consistently came up empty and wracked myself with the goal of filling the void deeply etched within me.

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In years past, as I’ve previously mentioned in preceding blog posts, I was an avid volunteer, spending much of my time tutoring elementary-aged children, assisting with child care and meal service in the American Red Cross Homeless shelter, serving as an office assistant/event assistant for The Sunshine Foundation, volunteering at a local hospital, as well as a host of other volunteer endeavors at various nonprofit organizations. It was my passion and filled the part of me which yearns to help and assist others in any and every way I possibly can. Much to my dismay, my search for a fulfilling, lucrative career has taken away from my volunteer involvement. Sometimes, I think it is my lack of volunteering that leads me to harbor the void I speak of. Volunteering connects me to the community and summons many pleasant memories in my mind and heart. I suppose I’ve been thinking of my volunteer experiences even more poignantly lately, as a result of the impending Thanksgiving holiday, which to me, was always a big volunteer holiday. In high school, my friend and I would spend the afternoon serving a free Thanksgiving meal to community members in need. It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed, conversing with the families who attended, while being able to provide them with something they were truly grateful for.

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When I saw the quote this morning, which speaks of not truly knowing what direction one wants to move in, as far as their career goes, but is self-aware with the type of person they wish to be, it spoke to me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. So I’ll try my best to interpret all I feel in this respect: I wish to be a woman who helps others, who listens to them when they are speaking and pays attention to their body language; I wish to be a woman who pays attention to the world, community, her family and friends around her and provides support when she can. Also, I wish to be a woman who touches others through both the spoken and written word and perhaps sparks ideas and hope, or at least awareness that one is never alone in the world. I’m sure I could continue my words about the type of woman I hope to be, but for now, I’ll leave it at that.

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Isn’t it funny how a single quote or sentence can spark an entire internal dialogue in one’s mind? To me, it is truly proof of the power of words and how they can lead to us to thoughts and ideas we never thought possible.

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Words Keeping me Wise

Happy Weekend! I hope you’ve been enjoying your weekend, thus far. This weekend, I both stumbled across and encountered several instances where words have triggered memories, new ideas and simply thoughts, overall, to ponder. These have been in the form of quotes I noticed on Pinterest, as well as in the new memoir I started reading, former “Clarissa Explains it All,” and “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,” star, Melissa Joan Hart‘s, entitled, “Melissa Explains It All.” Of course, her book isn’t heavy reading, but then again, sometimes it is a refreshing and welcome change to be able to read something lighthearted, with a friendly tone, that still manages to spark new ideas and concepts within my mind. It is a telling book, revealing encounters with several celebrities including, but not limited to (I’m only about 100 pages or less into the book), Soleil Moon Frye (former “Punky Brewster”), Drew Barrymore and Calista Flockhart. In the book, Melissa writes honestly and openly, candid in her descriptions and recollections. I’m told that parts of the book will surprise and shock readers, so I’m holding tight and bracing myself! It is an exciting read and I do recommend it, if you’re unfamiliar with it or on the fence about it.

Melissa Explains it All

In other words, the quotes that spoke to me over the weekend appeared through the “Quotes,” section on Pinterest (check out my Pinterest page: @Stylinstar53) This morning, I was searching for inspiration and turned to the trusty Quotes section, where of course, it did not fail me. While I posted these under my “Quotes & Thoughts I like,” page, I decided to share them in this post, in case you might have missed them:

“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.”

“When I’m feeling a litte low, I put on my favorite heels to stand a little taller.” (Those who know me well, know this fits the bill, as I am often in heels!)

“Today I choose to live by choice, not by chance;
To make changes, not excuses.

To be motivated,not manipulated.
To be useful, not used.

To excel, not compete.
I choose self-esteem, not self-pity.

I choose to listen to the inner voice, not the random opinion of others.”

So there you have it! Just some words for you to consider, ponder and take with you on this Sunday evening. Have a wonderful night, my friends!

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